Court dismisses Nigerian govt’s case against Justice Ademola, wife

Court dismisses Nigerian govt’s case against Justice Ademola, wife
April 05 16:51 2017

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed all the gratification and related charges preferred against Justice Adeniyi Ademola by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

Ademola, a Federal High Court judge; his wife, Olubowale; and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, MJoe Agi, were arraigned last year before Justice Jude Okeke on 18-count charges bordering on bribery and corruption.

The charges were filed following the raid by operatives of the  State Security Service on the judge’s house on October 7, 2016.

Justice Okeke on Wednesday discharged the three defendants in a ruling upholding their respective no-case submissions, The judge ruled that the prosecution was unable to make out a prima facie case with respect to any of the 18-count charges to warrant calling on the defendants to enter their defence.

Justice Okeke said the case was built on strong suspicion and speculation which no reasonable court could base any conviction on.

The court held that it would amount to asking the defendants to prove their innocence contrary to the provision of ‎the Constitution which requires the prosecution to prove them guilty.

Justice Okeke also held that the prosecution was unable to make out a prima facie case showing that the sum of N30m paid by Agi into Olubowale’s bank account in three tranches of N10m each between March 11 and 26, 2015, was gratification meant to influence Justice Ademola in his official functions.

The judge also held that the prosecution was unable to show any contrary evidence to the claim by the defendants that the sum of N30m was not a gift passed from two mutual friends of Justice Ademola and Agi by the SAN to Olubowale in support of the Ademolas for the wedding of their daughters held in April 2015.

The court ruled that the charges also failed to disclose which of the particular official functions of Justice Ademola – whether the judicial functions done in open court, administrative functions or prison – the N30m was meant to influence.

The court also ruled that the evidence of the 16th prosecution witness, Babatunde Adepoju, who investigated the case, admitting that he could not link the gift of N30m to any case Agi was having before Justice Ademola dealt a final blow to the case of the prosecution.